House of Commons

  1. Video content

    Video caption: Officers responded after a vehicle crashed into security barriers at 07:37.

    Officers responded after a vehicle crashed into security barriers at 07:37.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: Pairing row: Julian Smith refuses to answer questions

    The Conservative Chief Whip refused to be drawn on questions about a pairing controversy.

  3. Portrait of Irish rebel hangs in Westminster

    Video content

    Video caption: Abstentionist Irish rebel MP finally enters Westminster
  4. Big Ben tower to return to Victorian colour scheme

    Artist's impression of Elizabeth Tower

    The tower containing Big Ben is to return to its original Victorian colour scheme, which includes the Cross of St George and blue numbers on the clock face, parliamentary authorities have revealed.

    An artist's impression showing six shields bearing the red and white English national flag above each dial has been released by the House of Commons Commission.

    The blackened dials of the famous clock will also revert to Prussian blue numbers with gold frames filled with white glass as part of the £61m renovation of the Elizabeth Tower. Other areas of black paint around the outside will be gilded.

    It is believed that the current colour scheme was adopted in the early 20th century after the Victorian building, designed by Charles Barry, had been blackened by decades of heavy air pollution in London.

    Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, spokesman for the Commission, said the Elizabeth Tower "is not going to be dramatically different".

    Regarding the St George's Cross, he said: "It represents what is best about England and the English nature.

    "Obviously the Scots, the Welsh and Northern Irish are represented on the tower with the different rosettes that are there representing those countries. So I'm sure they won't object to that," he said.